PKL: U Mumba battle Tamil Thalaivas in Rivalry Week
Bengaluru: Tamil Thalaivas will rely on their solid defence to consolidate their position in the top six when they take on U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi League here on Saturday.
Tamil Thalaivas' big wins in the southern derbies have allowed them to climb to the top 6. Their defence, particularly Sagar, terrorised the opposition raiders in these victories. They will go into the match against Mumbai as the more confident side.
U Mumba lost their last two outings and has been affected by all-rounder Rahul Sethpal's absence in the cover position.
Raiders Ajith Kumar and Abhishek Singh have the potential to change the matches with their skills, but they will need to avoid the iron fists of Sagar to do so. Mumbai's chances will largely depend on their defence.
The second match of the triple-header night will see U.P. Yoddha, who have struggled in their recent outings, battle Telugu Titans, who are horribly out of form.
U.P. benched Pardeep Narwal in their previous outing. Instead, they started with the raiding duo of Surender Gill and Shrikant Jadhav. It will be interesting to see if they opt for the same strategy.
Sandeep Kandola in the left corner has been the only reliable defender for the Telugu team this seasonwhich means starting left raider Pardeep might actually be a good ploy.
The final match of the night will feature Puneri Paltan and Jaipur Pink Panthers. Both teams are going through purple patches with Pune on a four-match winning streak.
Paltan's strength has been their young athletes. Raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat have taken turns to attack the opposition with pace and strength. Cover defenders Abinesh Nadarajan and Sanket Sawant have also been excellent at charging down any attackers.
But in Jaipur, they will face a difficult opponent. Experienced Deepak Hooda and his raiding partner Arjun Deshwal are known to pick points from even the toughest defences.
The Panthers' defence of Sahul Kumar, Vishal and Sandeep Dhull will also be keen on clinching a statement victory that can help Jaipur stay in the hunt for a top six finish.